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LTE: BC Should Not Close Campus School

The following is in response to “Campus School may move out of University” by Devon Sanford

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 02:12

I recently learned of the news regarding the Campus School and the potential move to the Franciscan Hospital due to a space shortage on campus.  I wanted to send a brief email with my reactions to the news.  I know many important factors must be weighed in this decision, but I wanted to provide you a first-hand perspective about the Campus School, and all that it has taught me, in the hopes that this will impact [the] decision.

I am currently a third year law student at William & Mary Law School, and a proud Boston College graduate (I received my B.A. in 2010, and my M.Ed. in 2011).  During my time at Boston College, I volunteered at the Campus School, and I recall my time there as though it were yesterday. 

As someone who volunteered with a “Buddy” at the Campus School for four years, I saw firsthand the power of persistence. Through the “Buddy Program,” I was paired with a disabled student and spent time each week with my “Buddy.” Though I hope to have imparted knowledge to my Buddy, it was my Buddy who did the teaching and opened my eyes to the value of human potential.  I learned the value of viewing every person with dignity, respect, and compassion, and was so fortunate to have had the chance to give of myself to another.  Similarly, watching the teachers patiently work with the students of the Campus School was both eye-opening and inspiring. Importantly, I learned the role of perseverance in allowing each student, no matter how disabled, to reach his or her full potential.

The “Buddy” with whom I was paired was a female, in her teenage years, who was blind, deaf, nonverbal, confined to a wheelchair, and fed through a feeding tube. The moment when my Buddy finally recognized me and grabbed my hand without letting go was the single most poignant moment in my time at Boston College. I recall the moment when she became completely still as comprehension crept across her face when she held my hand. I recall the moment when my breath caught in my throat and I wished so hard that I could freeze that moment in time. I still recall the moments as though it were yesterday when my Buddy would laugh so hard, her face would split into a grin, and she would make gurgling noises and flail her hands, the purest form of human emotion there could be. Those are the moments, perhaps more than any other, that I treasure from my time at Boston College.  More importantly, those are the moments of which I am most proud as a Boston College graduate.

Moving the Campus School elsewhere would deprive countless Boston College students or volunteers (as well as students working towards their Masters in Special Needs) that same opportunity to witness first-hand the life-changing moments that occur right on campus each and every day

If Boston College is truly to be an institution that promotes Jesuit ideals and aspires to educate students to be “men and women for others,” moving a school which provides that forum prevents students from making that difference right on their own campus, a place they call home. Working as a volunteer at the Campus School was the highlight of my years at Boston College, and I simply cannot imagine having attended campus without the remarkable experience that the Campus School provided. 

Of everything I have learned at Boston College (and there has been a great deal), I am most proud of the lessons that the Campus School has taught me. The students at the Campus School are treated with dignity, respect, and compassion, and the value of making a difference right on campus simply cannot be replaced. Those moments that I recall are not simply fond memories. 

They are moments that shaped my perspectives on giving of myself to others, and moving the Campus School off Boston College’s campus denies countless other students that same chance.

Please don’t close the Campus School—it is truly an essential part of Boston College and an integral part of teaching students to both truly give of themselves and be men and women for others.

In the event you were not already aware, there is a petition circulating that contains thousands of signatures opposing the Campus School’s move. Countless other students have written their reasons for opposing the move, and I thought perhaps you would like to read those as well:

I know Boston College is an institution with much to offer, and I am thankful of all my experiences while I was a student. I would not be where I am today without the first-class education that Boston College provided, and for that, I am grateful. But Boston College simply would not be the same Boston College I know and remember without the Campus School. 

I appreciate your consideration in this matter.

 

Christina N. Cerutti

BC ’10, LGSOE ’11

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